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5 Essentials For A Perfect Guest Bedroom

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Guest Bedroom

Do you have guests arriving? Well, it’s time to spruce things up and ensure you have all the essential guest room items to offer a comfortable stay. Though it makes sense to invest a bit more in transforming your own bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, it doesn’t mean you should neglect the space where your guests are going to stay for a night. 

Your guest room should feel homier than a hotel room. After all, it’s not just about providing accommodation to the guests; it’s more about making them feel comfortable and rested. So, stock up your guest bedroom with these five essential items and make them feel at home in a pleasant space-

Keep Extras Of Everything

No one likes to ask for the things they need, again and again. If you know that your guests are on the way, keep extra towels, pillows, and blankets in the room. Some people use separate face and body towels, so store them in a closet or roll them up and place them in a basket. Though there is no need to offer costly, ultra-premium products, don’t force the worn-out linen on your guests.

Minimal Furniture And Optimum Storage Space

Your guests don’t need a bed only. Though it is a place for them to sleep in, they are likely to do other activities like getting ready or reading there. So, think beds, bench, chairs, bedside table, or shelves. If you aren’t willing to place a master dresser there, consider providing basic amenities like a wall mirror with some storage space. 

Besides, there must be enough space for the guests to store their luggage. Utilize the space and create wardrobes to stack all the essentials and provide sufficient space to the guests. As you don’t use the guest bedroom as much, you can go for less expensive options, as far as the material is concerned.

Quality Mattress Is A Must

It’s not uncommon to dump the guest bedroom with unwanted mattresses. If you don’t use that old, worn out, uncomfortable bed, don’t force your guests to use it. Instead, invest in some good quality mattress that supports their sleep. High-quality mattresses are no longer expensive. You can browse Southern California Mattress Superstores to find a variety of mattress options, bedding accessories and provide your guests with good night sleep. They will appreciate resting on a decent mattress.

Keep Basic Toiletry Items In Place

There are fair chances that your guests will bring personal toiletry products. However, as far as the basic toiletries are concerned, no one is supposed to bring their own. Make sure to place toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion in the guest bathroom. Besides, keep a box of facial tissues in the guest bedroom, including the one with extra linen.

Don’t Forget To Place Iron And Accessories

Iron is a must-have guest bedroom essential that is often overlooked. To guests are likely to have wrinkled clothing after a long journey. They often arrive in formal wear, especially when there are holidays or special occasions. Adding iron to the arsenal of basic guest room supplies will make it easier for them to get ready. If there is limited space, grab an over-the-door or a tabletop ironing board that can sit on the floor, bed, or a low dresser.

It seems like a lot of items to get together. But, once you keep these items in place, you’ll spend less time getting your guest bedroom ready for the next time you have guests arriving. If they get plenty of comfort and sleep, they are likely to feel cheerful and appreciate their stay at your place. 

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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3 Home Technologies That Are Going Away

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Technology is a field that evolves very rapidly, either out of necessity or through consumer demand. What once used to be the latest and greatest will eventually become obsolete, replaced by newer and hopefully better technology. Here are three home technologies that are going away and how they are being replaced.

  1. Landline Phones

Landline phones exploded in use throughout the middle of the twentieth century. This enabled people to communicate with others much more quickly and efficiently than before. However, the increasing use of mobile phones in the late 1990s through today has made it easy for households to do away with their landline phones and exclusively use personal mobile phones. Cellphones usually come with other features besides the ability to make calls, such as texting and GPS navigation, making them a convenient option when traveling.

However, there remain disadvantages to going fully mobile, such as receiving worse cell quality in remote areas and less reliability when calling emergency services. Some other alternatives to landline phones include voice over internet protocol phones and online services that offer voice and video calling.

  1. Cable Television

Cable television is still ubiquitous in many households but is being replaced by streaming services, often offered by the cable networks themselves, as well as online platforms that allow people to watch shows, movies, and news on demand. Some of the benefits of cable include the ability to watch sports and other broadcasts live, as well as the opportunity to choose a cable package with a limited selection of channels or a wider selection including premium channels at a more expensive price point.

Today, streaming services often offer a larger selection of shows and movies for even lower prices. Most streaming services allow you to pay by the month and give you the option of streaming on more than one device at a time.

  1. Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are still easy to find, but are slowly becoming regarded as more expensive and less environmentally friendly than compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes. CFLs and LEDs work in most modern light fixtures and are a good investment for your lighting needs, especially considering the fact that many U.S. states are starting to limit the use of incandescent lights. CFLs and LEDs generally last longer than traditional light bulbs, leading to less hassle in replacing bulbs.

Consider these three home technologies and their replacements the next time you are looking to save money or upgrade your house.

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Maxwell Drever explains the concept of the affordable housing crisis

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People all across the globe are facing the problem of an affordable housing crisis. It is affecting millions of individuals who belong to the medium-income spectrum. Grabbing a look at national analytics, you will understand that ever since 2018, the problem has aggravated. Individuals who offer 35 to 40 hours each week and earn minimum wages fall within this category. They are finding it hard to afford or two to a three-bedroom apartment for themselves because it adds to the burden on their financial expenses. Hence, countries in a global setting have come up to solve this problem.

Research reveals that the cost burden on the middle-income group has increased by 30%. It is a reason why they are looking for affordable, well-maintained, and reasonable housing to cut down on their struggles. Around two-third renters have reported the hardship of affording a new house for themselves because their savings are low. It is here that affordable housing turns into a crisis. It is not only limited to the middle and lower-income groups but also to other sections of society.

The problem of construction for investors by Maxwell Drever

You may be thinking that affordable workforce housing is only a problem for the middle-income group. However, it is not so. Even the investors and real estate agents face similar issues because construction material costs are soaring high. For example, the cost of lumber has increased by 16% in the last few years.

Although the index keeps on fluctuating, Maxwell Drever says it has remained elevated for the earlier few months. Remember that a minimum of 5 to 10% of the increase in construction material prices adds to the cost. Hence, the problem builds up for the investors and other related agents. It is why most home builders are finding it hard to construct reasonable and affordable housing to cater to the market.

Problems faced by the government

Federal governments introduce multiple policy options for providing tax cuts and benefits to society. All these get targeted towards the middle-income group; surveys reveal that they hardly get the advantages. On the other hand, some policy options get designed for the investors and real estate industry. Implementation of these policies is sometimes a challenging task. Hence, the governments are facing the problem of restrictive practices and their impact on the broader economy.

Transportation issues in affordable housing

Affordable housing is not only limited to the residence itself. The increasing rent and property prices push low. Hence, the middle-income groups move further away from the main urban centers. It is here that the problem of transportation comes into play. Low housing costs in the suburban areas often compel the middle-income groups to spend a lot on transport, claims Maxwell Drever.

Hence every section of society is suffering from the problem of affordable workforce housing. The crisis has taken a global form, and that is transforming itself every day. For dealing with policy options, transit access, job opportunities, people are trying to analyze the available options. Hence, the crisis is multifaceted and requires a combined effort.

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Beginners Tips For Greenhouse Gardening

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Greenhouses make a great addition to any garden. They allow you to grow plant varieties that would not be suitable for outside areas, and to extend the growing season for other species. But for those first considering setting up a greenhouse in their garden, it can seem daunting to know where to begin. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

Heat

On sunny days, your greenhouse will heat up nicely as the sun’s rays are refracted through the glass. But you’ll also need other means of heating for colder times. Electric heaters are the easiest to install, but you could also use gas (although this method will require you to vent the greenhouse for fumes. You will also need some way of preventing the temperature becoming too high in the greenhouse. Avoid installing air conditioners for cooling, as these dry the air. Passive vents or exhaust fans will do the job, or consider constructing your greenhouse with windows at either end that can be propped open, to allow air to flow through.

Light

In winter the amount of light coming into the greenhouse is often not sufficient o support the plants, particularly if they are juveniles. Installing fluorescent or LED lighting above your grow beds will help ensure they have enough light.

Water

While the exact amount of water required in your greenhouse will vary depending on the species of plants you’re growing and the temperature, as a general rule, plants and growing beds ill dry out more quickly than beds outside in the garden. So give plants a good soaking whenever you water. Avoid spraying the foliage too much, as this is one way disease can spread between plants.

Soil

One of the key components in the success of your greenhouse gardening is your soil. Most greenhouse novices begin growing in beds or pots (or a combination of the two). As such you need to have soil that drains sufficiently to prevent water logging, but also retains moisture well so that the water is available for the plant roots to access. The soil should ideally be slightly acid and, crucially, contain a lot of organic material. One of the ways to ensure this is to add compost.

Compost

Because the soil won’t be getting organic matter – the rich topsoil full of nutrients and bacterial activity – from natural sources as the soil outside may, from, for instance, leaf litter, animal droppings, decaying plant material, you need to add a good proportion of compost to your growing beds. Some recommendations call for all much as a third of your beds to be made from compost. This will give the plants the most nutrient rich growing medium in which to thrive. Whenever possible choose an organic fertilizer, or, better yet, start your own compost pile using scraps form the kitchen and plant cuttings from the garden.

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Gardeners Mantra

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How many times have you planted a new plant, tree or bush hoping for a fully developed plant in no time? Many gardeners both seasoned and new love to see the fruits of their labor. However, many gardeners are impatient and wish for fast growth on short oder. For those that get frustrated waiting for that favored plant, tree of bush to take off, they often find themselves pulling up the plant, taking it back to their favorite nursery or throwing it away only to start over thinking they’ve done something to kill it or stunt it’s growth when often times, this isn’t the case.

What’s a gardener to do? Many who are trying to start a new area or add to an existing have to follow the gardeners mantra regardless of region or location in the country. While different locals offer different planting seasons and plant types that thrive in their respective area, all plants need a little time to get established and take off. It’s well known that all gardening and landscape work is based upon seasons and so is the growth potential for any plant, tree or bush.

So, what is the gardeners mantra?

Three steps to every plants success is this. First year SLEEP, second year CREEP and the third year LEAP. It’s that simple of a statement which basically says, you’ll need patience.

Stage One: First Year SLEEP

All plants, trees and shrubs initially go into a shocked state upon initial planting into a new location. Like any living organism, it’s ability to try and survive is innate and any plant has techniques to insure it lives on to produce. So, while a good gardener does everything possible to help the process through root stimulator and nutrients, the plant still has to go into a somewhat dormant state before getting fully established.

For the first year in a new garden, expect only to see the plant in the state that you planted it. Any leaves or flowers will look exactly like it did when you first took it out of the bucket and put it in the ground.

Stage Two: Second Year CREEP

Once the plant, tree or shrub makes it through the first cold season of fall and winter, it’s ready to start to change. The second year is when it starts to work on it’s foundation system, roots. This second year, more work is being done below ground to insure that future growth can be maintained and it’s feeding system is in tact. Second year growth on exposed plant material will be limited and therefore why it looks like it’s not doing much. It then “creeps” along on growth and takes it’s time getting use to it’s surroundings and environment.

Stage Three: Third Year LEAP

This is the year the gardener is rewarded with all of the hard work. Now that the plant, tree or shrub is established and has a strong foundation, it will literally leap into a major growth spurt. Knowing that all water and nutrients will make it to it’s extremities, it will flourish beyond your expectations and begin to bring forth the expected shade or flower to please the gardener who so painstakingly helped it along.

This is the good year as well as many good years to come. Every plants life cycle has great potential, but the third year and beyond is the time when every gardener gets the reward of the plant, tree or shrub they were expecting. Patience and time is the sub-mantra of the prepared gardener, but the main mantra every gardener should adopt is:

First Year SLEEP, Second Year CREEP and Third Year LEAP!

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Hydroponic Gardens – Picking A System To Suit Your Requirements

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Hydroponic gardens consist of raising plants in a growing medium other than soil. Most times, this means suspending a plant’s roots in a tray of water that is concentrated with nutrient solution. The roots then absorb the essential nutrients that they need in order to provide maximum growth. Because of this, hydroponics gardening plants generally utilize the nutrients more efficiently and then produce bigger blossoms and larger yields. By doing some research online, you can find several successful systems for producing a successful hydroponic gardening system.

Many indoor gardeners employ the Ebb and Flow method (also known as the Flood and Drain method). With this hydroponic gardening system, a submersed pump floods the grow tray with a nutrient rich solution at regular intervals. A mechanism monitors the surrounding environment to help determine the amount of nutrients to provide to the plants for optimum growth. With this hydroponics grow system, gardeners can use a variety of different growing mediums. Gravel and Grow rocks are also helpful when placed in the bottom of the grow tray to help the plants get the nutrients provided by the solution. Or, for smaller plants, gardeners may choose to use individual pots that they can easily move around if needed. Beware of power outages, though. Since some equipment runs on electricity, a power outage can cause the roots to dry out quickly.

The water culture technique is an ideal way for providing nutrients to your hydroponics grow system. Using this raised gardening method, plants are placed on a Styrofoam sheet which is floating in water that is rich in nutrients. A pump then bubbles the nutrient-rich solution towards the roots so they get a great mixture of essential nutrients and oxygen. The ideal vegetables to grow in the water culture method are lettuce and other small plants that grow rapidly in water. Plants that do not grow well in water should be grown using one of the other hydroponic gardening systems. The water culture method is also popular for classrooms to teach young students about the growing process.

Perhaps the simplest method for a hydroponic gardening system, or raised gardening, is the Wick method. With this hydroponics gardening method, there are no expensive equipment to buy and no moving parts. The gardener simply places one end of the wick into a solution rich in nutrients and the other end of the wick is placed into the growing medium, where the plant roots are. The nutrient solution is then transferred into the growing medium. For diagrams and free plans about how to build this type of hydroponics grow system, visit simplyhydro .com. One disadvantage of this hydroponic gardening system though, is that it is not ideal for large plants, as they use up the solution and water faster than the wicks can supply the nutrients.

You can discover either hydroponic gardening systems or raised gardening methods that provide a wide array of benefits to passive or avid gardeners. With a hydroponic gardening system, you can be as involved or as uninvolved with the growth of your plants as you want to be. Gardeners have been able to find many hydroponic gardening system diagrams and plans in books and on the internet, including many free ones at “simplyhydro .com”. Finding a hydroponic gardening system that suits your needs is not a difficult task.

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The Power of Focus In Your Podcast Marketing

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Today, I want to share with you the POWER of FOCUS.

What does that mean?

Let’s say you want to focus on Gardening. OK, that’s a good niche. It’s a popular niche. I’m just using that as an example. You could choose boxing or car repair – whatever you have identified as your niche (we also talked about that before as well).

But “Gardening” is really a general category. It may be specific as compared to something else, but the category “Gardening” is a general category.

Your podcast could simply be about “Gardening” and then you could cover different aspects of gardening.

Or you could zero in on one aspect alone and become the expert of that area.

For example, there could be Indoor Gardening; Outdoor Gardening; Rock Gardens; Vegetable Gardens; Flower Gardens; Patio Gardens and I could go on and on.

How can you market this to your specific target audience?

Well, for a lot of podcasters, they want to use advertising. Which is fine – if you do it correctly.

What I see with most new business owners, and podcasters as well, are ads that look like their competitors ads. And they all look almost exactly the same!

They will say things like, “The Best Service” and there will be their picture there or their logo. There will be a list of services or products they offer and then a link to their podcast. They will list things, let’s stick with gardening as the example, they will list things like:

Landscape bricks; four different types of mulch; top soil; pre fertilized soil; fertilizer; bird netting; animal netting; vegetable seeds; vegetable transplants; planters; etc.

Then, there will be their podcast website saying something like “We discuss all these topics and more to help you grow your garden!”

You can put whatever niche you want in there and put whatever products and services you would normally advertise for. You may have even tried ads like that.

The problem, as we covered about the archer shooting arrows in the fog, you are not really aiming at anything!

Here is what you need to do. Pick ONE Topic and use that in the ad.

One area. ONE, not two. Just ONE.

For example:

Patio Gardening. Have several podcast episodes that deal only with that aspect of your niche.

Use that information in your ad.

You can put something like, “We are the patio gardening experts. If you are looking at establishing a patio garden, listen to our podcast to receive great tips on establishing your patio garden.”

Then, in the podcast, you can have a call to action such as, “Give us a call and we will help you get set up for success” or something similar. I’m just doing this off the cuff. You can phrase it appropriately for your niche.

But that would be it! Nothing else. No other products or services.

You can put a picture of a patio garden in the ad and set it as the photo for your episodes. You can put that photo on your website.

Then, you split test the ad…

If you get no responses with listing the website; change it to an email address and run it again.

If you get some responses with one way of running the ad, change the product or service description JUST A LITTLE BIT, maybe a word or two at the most. Then run it again…

Change the photo. Then run it again.

Change the colors used. Then run it again.

If the responses go down, change it back and run it again.

You do this until you have the ad that gets you the best results for “Patio Gardens.”

Then, you do the same process all over again with another area. In Gardening, you might run, Vegetable Gardens. Pick one type of vegetable and start the process all over again.

If you did one week of episodes in each area with a small ad each week, by the end of the year, you will probably have 8-10 well-tested ads that are generating you some great responses.

These can be used over and over again.

If you are marketing in the city, patio gardens are probably the way to go. You can have guests on the podcast to give tips on setting up the patio gardens!

Instead of marketing to all of the different types of gardens available and hoping somebody listens to you, speak ONLY TO ONE PERSON. And do not confuse them with too many options. Confusion will equal no action at all!

Speak to ONE Person in ONE Category of ONE Niche and offer ONE Product.

Let your competitors run the long list of services. Become known as the SPECIALIST, in this example, of “Patio Gardens.” Every time someone thinks about starting a patio garden, they should be thinking of your podcast!

Like I said, you can offer other services and products as well – but your advertising, at least initially, needs to focus on ONE THING – drive traffic to your podcast with marketing targeted to your desired audience.

Take a look at your niche you have chosen and figure out what the ONE area is you will market. Then start formulating your ad.

By staying focused on speaking directly to that one person in one segment of your niche, with only one message, you will begin to see the download numbers start to increase in your podcast stats and possibly drive extra traffic to your website!

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Consult Them in Confidence for Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance Services

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When you install all those precious carpets, some thought should be spared for their long life that requires careful cleaning. The cleaning service refers to several aspects of daily life like the mattress, tiles everywhere, vinyl, upholstery, and curtains. Some cleaning work attempted in a DIY approach with internet help may be possible. The safest approach when it comes to expensive stuff is professional carpet cleaning carried out by the experts with their time-tested methods and approved green materials that do no harm the carpet or the environment. They would flit around silently and complete the task without interference in the working or home schedules, leaving the scene neatly arranged like before.

Fourteen years is a long time

The learning from experience has been a bitter-sweet journey and crossing a decade did bring a quota of happiness well deserved after all the ups and downs. Meanwhile, as we witnessed changes in technology, machinery, and materials, success brought a big boost. So many years later and it seems like several decades, we go about attending to emergencies, routine cleaning and maintenance services and repairs with a greater confidence, armed with technical know-how.

Certification does help and it is easier to convince of our authenticity. As the society grows more and more specialized, you are required to be an expert rather than a handyman. The IICRC certification gives an air of invincibility and licensing too has its many advantages.

Assurance of thorough carpet cleaning services

Some companies make sweet promises, but leave you disappointed in the end. Avoiding shortcuts and leaving things half done is not the policy that results in retaining customers and earning more referrals that they aim for. The result of such patchy work with inferior equipment and cheap chemicals would be carpeted that retain the wetness over several days. They can certainly assure of absolutely fast and reliable carpet cleaning services with the best machinery and chemicals.

The very powerful Amtex truck-mounted machine is the latest in the equipment and the cleaning is done through several stages. The cleaning temperature is extremely high with a strong vacuum action, carpets get cleaned faster and dryness is quickly achieved. The result is a longer life for the carpets. That is not only a promise but a guarantee. If at all unsatisfied, they will re-clean and even refund if something is yet amiss.

Stubborn stains may be bothering you

Hidden away for years perhaps are stains on the carpet that seem to be forever, particularly for those who attempted cleaning by themselves. If referred, our workers would probably get rid of them quickly and leave the carpet as good as new. If you never got the carpets cleaned professionally, give it a try and watch the carpets being transformed anew. Some terrible stains just won’t go and you will be informed accordingly. Did you know of the several cleaning services that may be most appropriate?

Standard Carpet Cleaning

Steam cleaning takes care of the usual soiled carpets through several stages by the high powered machine.

Deluxe Carpet Cleaning

Excessively soiled carpets require the deluxe service that involves pre-vacuuming, carpet agitation, stain treatments, fiber rinsing, and high powered steam cleaning.

Master Carpet Cleaning

An intense cleaning session for the ultimate results! If it is the favorite carpet or very heavily soiled, go for it. Pre-vacuuming, carpet shampooing, stain treatments, multiple fiber treatments including stain protection and powerful truck mounted steam cleaning are the procedure.

Encapsulation Carpet Cleaning

Using little moisture, this procedure results in very quick drying and is most suitable for businesses. The results are better too, and carpets remain clean longer.

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Exposed to greater wear and tear that results in heavy soiling, commercial carpets require an intensive cleaning procedure.

Emergencies and repairs

Offering services round the clock, the workers are geared to attend to flooding and other crises that may occur at the dead of night. Perhaps everybody has faced such an occasion with water entering the house and soaking the carpets and the furniture.

In such a situation, avoid getting things done by yourself. Armed with the right machinery and a strategy that has been applied successfully many times, workers will drain out the water and save the carpets from damage. In addition, insurance claim processing may require with their assistance too, being well versed in such matters.

Should you need carpet repair services?

If the carpet has developed tears and strings getting pulled through long use, workers have the best solutions. Frays and burn marks, stains and re-seaming, re-stretching, installation of carpet trims, patching and re-laying, they do them all in a jiffy. Carpet cleaning and other services would be well done, leaving them in excellent shape for the longer future.

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Kitchen Gardens, A Source of Health

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Food, the principle source of energy for our body is also a source of disease and uneasiness. Safer the food is healthier a person will be. Due to industrialization and environmental degradation the quality of available food is also degraded. Excessive use of insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers has increased the food quantitatively but not qualitatively. When a consumer eats a food which is produced by excessive use of chemicals then the health of consumer is on the edge of vulnerability. So providence of safe and healthy food is a big issue, organically grown fruits and vegetables are most beneficial for health and for producing organically grown food, kitchen gardening or home gardening is the most reliable activity. It is a hobby and also a need for health conscious people.

In kitchen gardening plants are grown for consumption in house, majorly kitchen gardening is considered as growing of vegetables for consumption in house, but kitchen gardening is more than production of vegetables only. Kitchen gardening or home gardening is an art, technology and technique of maintaining nature and growing fruits, vegetables, spices, condiments and medicinal herbs in a family house, for in house consumption or in either way for kitchen use. It is said, that there are certain limitations for practicing kitchen gardening, that, this system must comprise of a family house, having a recreational area or a garden, for practicing this technique but, our point of view is, that it can also be practiced on roof-tops by using containers and pots.

If there is no availability of space on the ground then this healthy gardening activity can be practiced on house tops by the use of pots and containers. Requirement of spare time for garden establishment and management is a considerable factor; a person can only spend time in this gardening activity if he has interest in it, so to develop interest in gardening is a key factor for establishment and management of kitchen gardens. For practicing garden activity one should know the skills to establish and manage a garden. So, space, time, interest and skills are some major aspects needed for establishment of kitchen gardens.

While thinking about a kitchen/home garden, the main motive which comes in one’s mind is providence of healthy and nutritious food but benefits of kitchen/home gardens are far more than that. Garden plants and their various colors stimulate healthy brain activity. Green colour can also act positively in enhancing brain efficiency. Children and youth should also be involved in such practices; by this they can increase their exposure to fruit and vegetable consumption. For increasing children and youth involvement in garden based activities there is a need for garden based educational programs. These garden based educational programs will increase healthful eating behavior in children as well as in youth, leading to self-aware and healthy generation.

Kitchen gardening technique can also be practiced by housewives. They can adopt this technique as a hobby; by practicing kitchen gardening they will be able to reduce daily expenses and can ensure the providence of healthier, nutritious, cheaper and quality vegetables for their family.

So it can be concluded that kitchen gardens or home gardens can play a vital role in reducing health hazards and can ensure providence of healthy and nutritious vegetables.

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Carpet Cleaning: Tips For Choosing The Best Carpet Cleaner

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When the time comes to have your carpet professionally steam cleaned, your first impulse will probably be to choose to hire the cleaner with the lowest prices. Be careful! The majority of these companies have cut corners somewhere! When businesses like these advertise ‘unbeatable prices,’ you need to ask yourself three important questions.

Have they cut extremely vital operating costs, such as insurance?

An adequate level of business insurance coverage is not cheap. Consequently, this is commonly one of the first things to get cut if a business is struggling. If this business cannot afford insurance to cover them if an unfortunate accident should occur on your property, can they afford to pay for any damage to your home or your loved ones if they should have an accident? Business insurance is not required by law; any person with a legitimate business license can legally do business without insurance. Always ask your carpet cleaner for proof of insurance!

Is this company using substandard equipment?

Anything other than steam cleaning is not going to do an adequate job of cleaning your carpet, upholstery or area rugs. Dry carpet cleaning such as encapsulation cleaning, dry foam cleaning, and bonnet cleaning will only disguise the dirt in your textiles. In addition, these sub-par cleaning systems do not kill germs, viruses, or diseases because they use only small amounts of warm water. These dry cleaning methods are designed for use on commercial carpeting in commercial establishments such as stores, schools, and churches. Steam cleaning on the other hand is considered the gold standard for textile cleaning. Most steam cleaners produce water above 180+ degrees F for superior cleaning and germ killing capability. Steam cleaning equipment is extremely costly and in order for companies employing steam cleaners to stay in business, they have to charge more than the commonly advertised ‘Whole House For $99’ special. Before hiring any carpet cleaner, ask if they do steam cleaning. If their answer is “no” then you’re better off finding a different company.

Will this company use bait and switch tactics on me?

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Unfortunately, homeowners are still swindled out of hundreds of dollars every day. What happens is, the customer falls for the attractive pricing and decides to hire the carpet cleaner. Then, when the technicians are done cleaning, they spring a bunch of hidden charges on the homeowner resulting in a much larger bill than originally agreed upon. Then, since the work has already been completed, the homeowner feels pressured to pay the price even though they feel taken advantage of. Another position that these companies use is intimidation. As soon as they walk in the door, they start with their extremely high-pressured sales and suggestions for the homeowner. They start adding on service after service and are very pushy with their suggestions until before you know it, the price is three times higher than originally agreed upon. Always demand a written quote before any (not just carpet cleaning) technician does any work in your home. This way, if the company tries to increase the price on you after the work is completed, you have physical evidence that would hold up in a court of law suggesting that they are using bait and switch tactics. A legitimate carpet cleaning company should be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate over the phone and should be able to provide you with an exact price, prior to beginning cleaning.

Choosing a carpet cleaner may seem a bit scary to you at this point. Relax; as long as you follow the above guidelines, you will be thrilled with whichever cleaner you choose.

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Gardens That Need Less – A Book Review

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If you are like me, then you want to grow your own organic vegetables, and have your own really cool garden, but, you also know that you hardly have time to spend making it perfect. But did you know that there are many time-saving ways to have your garden and eat well too, without it taking hours a day – it’s true. Let me explain. You see, what you need is an education in gardening and some sure fire tips to make you the local gardening expert. So, I’d like to recommend a very good book to you:

“Low-Maintenance Gardening” by Fiona Gilsenan – 1998 (A Sunset Book).

Are you interested in gardening, but also realize the need to save water? Perhaps you travel a lot and know that your lack of attention could cause the plants to all die? Have you considered the local critters in the area that might eat up your garden or the problems with insects that feast upon your plants? Well, if any of these things are serious issues for you to consider then you need to get this book.

One super feature of this book, is that it breaks things down by region so no matter where you live, there are tips and information for you. There are also many time-saving methods outlined in the book, to insure that you spend your time wisely. The book also has hundreds of easy to manage plant species that you can plant that work well together and require very little care or water.Whether you are looking for an oriental garden, vegetable garden, decorative garden or a total xeriscape, this book will be perfect for you.

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